DTI-CITEM empowers holiday décor exporters with a design update program

Design for Exports Program unites CITEM, local manufacturers, and designer Nina Santamaria in creating a brand new collection of festive décor for the global market

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One of the leading Filipino interior designers today, Nina Santamaria has been commissioned by DTI-CITEM to create new product designs for holiday décor manufacturers. The collections will be showcased in the Manila FAME April 2016 Boutique Edition.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is working with interior designer Nina Santamaria and four handpicked Philippine crafts exporters – Accent Pieces, Basket and Weaves, Chilonia Fabrica, and Klassy Kollections – to develop a trend-forward collection of décor for Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and other popular celebrations to be showcased in the April 2016 Boutique Edition of the country’s premier innovation and lifestyle event, Manila FAME. This project, under the Design for Exports Program, is one of the many export product development endeavors initiated by CITEM.

The Philippines’ Christmas tradition and décor export

The Philippines is known worldwide as the country that celebrates the longest and most lavish Yuletide season, beginning as early as September and stretching on as late as February.

Manila FAME features home and holiday décor exporters that use indigenous and eco-friendly materials to craft top quality concept products with story and value.

Manila FAME features home and holiday décor exporters that use indigenous and eco-friendly materials to craft top quality concept products with story and value.

Because the tradition of Christmas is deeply embedded in Filipino culture, the country’s holiday décor manufacturers understand both the religious and secular meanings of the season, and they are able to craft according to the market they cater to, from Europe to the United States.

The Christmas Décor Producers and Exporters Association of the Philippines (CDPEAP) reports that the bulk of the country’s holiday décor exports consists of handcrafted products made of natural materials and in traditional themes and colors. These are imported by the United States, which accounts for three-fourths of the market for Philippine holiday décor, and other countries such as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, and United Kingdom.

In 2013, export sales reached USD 48 million. Although this is just a fraction of the houseware exports (USD 225 million) and furniture and furnishings exports (USD 253 million), the year-on-year growth from 2012 to 2013 is remarkable at 54.23 %, signaling the resurgence of the industry as markets have become more optimistic.

DTI-CITEM helps Christmas décor exporters expand their products and gain foothold in other festive décor markets

The Design for Exports program for holiday décor manufacturers initially focused on developing Christmas décor. However, the last edition of Manila FAME, held in October 2015, spotlighted on the commercial and design strength of Philippine-made holiday décor as well as tableware and home accents through the special setting The Manila Gusto Gallery: In Pursuit of Pleasure, developed and curated by German consultant Detlef Klatt. The setting and its products received great feedback from trade visitors and media as it highlighted a design harmony from two different sectors and featured new pieces from holiday décor manufacturers that veered away from the traditional Christmas décor. 

Holiday Colors

Holiday Naturals

In the Design for Exports Program, CITEM collaborates with local manufacturers and both seasoned and up-and-coming designers to develop new home, holiday, and lifestyle products for the international market.

“The collaboration saw the great opportunities in expanding this sector and assisting local SMEs in creating and exporting decorative products for other popular festivities and thus enter new markets in the global scene,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos.

Continuing this program, SMEs in partnership with DTI-CITEM will venture into manufacturing for other celebrations – Halloween, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the like – that are popular in major markets like the United States.  

For the April 2016 Boutique Edition of Manila FAME, Nina Santamaria, who is at the helm of the creative direction for the holiday décor product development program, will design and curate a fresh collection of festive décor made by the participating SMEs. The new creations embody different looks – metallic, natural, and bold colors – while highlighting the innate charm of handmade ornaments crafted from indigenous and eco-friendly materials and emphasizing the craftsmanship of Filipino artisans.


Organized by CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Manila FAME is the country’s only premier design and lifestyle event for the global market. A bi-annual trade show, it is dedicated to home, holiday, and fashion sectors featuring hundreds of exporters, manufacturers, and designers. Manila FAME will run from April 21 to 24, 2016, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City.

For more information on Manila FAME, log on to http://www.manilafame.com.

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